Friday, 16 January 2015

Tinned chunks - an introduction to the rejection of everything through moments in the description of deep opposition (part 6 in an extended series)

Religions have uncovered the essential truths of human existence, accidentally. Their category errors are fundamental to their breaking away from the observable world. (1/59)

The misconceptions of religion more accurately convey the contents of human perversity than do the findings of science. (2/59)

Religions have been found out, as Wilde would say, although later rather than sooner, for telling the truth about the human heart. (3/59)

The truths disclosed by religion, concerning as they do an irreducible ambivalence, deviate from both religious practice and religious principle. Such truths appear as a sort of spoil heap beside devotional work, and yet are its real treasure. (4/59)

The tendency within human society to form abstract identities in law-saturated relation to intangible, and imagined, entities is one of religion's discoveries. (5/59)

Identities are stretched over the noumenal realm.  There is nothing beneath them. From the vacancy beneath it, an identity may draw no reassurance about itself. (6/59)

This underlying condition of interminable hollowing drives identities to assert themselves, their list of differences, against their rivals - every identity suspects that what it is to the tips of its fingers, in reality, could be entirely otherwise. (7/59)

That for which they are prepared to die is utterly meaningless. (8/59)

Identities are second order constructs fashioned out of marginal and arbitrary materials. There is nothing in an identity that is original (unalterable). However, 'who we are' and 'our way' is still the rationalised pretext for war. (9/59)

The contemporary phenomenon which has become the 'muslim' identity is part ideology, part pre-capitalist social formation. (10/59)

Driven by geo-political and economic imperatives, the ideological portion of muslim identity  increases alongside its standardisation. (11/59)

The standardised muslim identity, attenuated in its qualities, amplified in its quantities, competes for market share measured in proportion of social media users. (12/59)

The muslim identity is increasingly homogenised and is thereby separated from its multiple pre-capitalised forms. (13/59)

The ideological form of the muslim identity is 'islamism' which is characterised by: a. its retroactive inheritance of a revisionist orthodoxy; b. its invented traditions; c. its project of enforced coherence; d. its expansionism; e. its expropriations, colonisations, forced conversions; e. the espirit de corps engendered by its militarism. (14/59)

The following is not an answer but a question:
"I am a muslim, Islam is perfect, but I am not. If I make a mistake, blame it on me, not my religion."(15/59)

The following is not a question but an answer:
"Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?”(16/59)

The mechanisms of social reproduction ensure that ideological formations are not simply dispersed by the rule of generalising equivalence - they preserve a representation of different 'cultures'. The political 'left' reimagines ideological formations in terms of potential autonomy. (17/59)

The function of leftism is to naturalise historically derived identities and 'defend' their specificity against erasure by the process of abstract generalisation. By this means it activates the category of its own belonging in this world. (18/59)

The left's defence of what it represents to be 'muslims', i.e. the object of racism, is in accord with its function. However, 'muslim', as an increasingly abstract and polarising category, is itself a product of abstract generalisation. (19/59)

The moment where an abstract identity finally converges with the process of generalising abstraction marks the end of its 'pre-capitalist' phase, and thus of both its truths and its resistance. (20/59)
  
The left mistakes the historical replacement of the variation of muslim cultures (which is also the event of their erasure) with a mass produced representational reference point, as 'Islamophobia'. (21/59)

The left defends 'muslims' at the moment where that identity is being absorbed into ordinary commodity production. (22/59)

The left's arguments for what it takes to be a 'muslim' identity, undertaken on the pretext of, perhaps diversity, perhaps anti-racism, is in reality nothing but the defence of a fixed component of capitalised existence upon which it stakes its own claim. (23/59)

The spectacular form of the 'muslim' identity, i.e. where the commodity of constricted sentimentality is fixed into digital flows of iconographic representations, is expressed ideologically by 'Islamism'. The project of islamism is implemented by militants. The characteristics of the militant may be described both politically and psychologically. (24/59)

Where the islamist militant is described politically, it is found that he gives expression to the conditions that have produced him. (25/59)

The militant is, fatally, of the world that he opposes. He cannot escape it but contributes, against his will, to its reproduction. The iconoclast films himself smashing images. (26/59)

Like all militants, islamists are instruments that 'project power' from a remote source. However, the remoteness of islamism's power is not simply projected from an actual state (e.g. Saudi Arabia) or a specific strategy (e.g. Wahhabism). (27/59)

The power that the islamist militant projects is remote in the sense that it is not reducible to a place, or rather it is implemented in every place from an abstracted ideological plane. It descends, or precipitates, from generalised idea to particularising event via the militant's intervention. (28/59)

The islamist militant is a militant as much as he is an islamist - and as such he belongs in this world. (29/59)

The militant is an agent of instrumentalising rationality, and as such is also instrumentalised. (30/59)

The end to which the militant is directed precludes his comprehension of either the means he is prepared to deploy or the objective value of his end. (31/59)

The militant celebrates the absorption of his energies into a supra-individual force; he does not realise, until it is too late, that the force which carries him forward is not his chosen cause. (32/59)

The transformation of the militant into an instrument of an external power protects him from having to bear individual consciousness. (33/59)

Militants live in error. They do not bring about the error that they have given shape to, but by their efforts they make it theirs. (34/59)

Militancy is a flight from both difficulty and responsibility. (35/59)

Militants! You are still struggling against the quicksand. Militants! you are still sinking deeper. Militants! You are the mire from which you try to extract yourselves. (36/59)

The militant is the false form, because it is both immediate and prepackaged, of a true motivation - the urge to adjust, or merely deny, a given meaning. (37/59)

As a reaction formation, militancy makes the argument for that to which it is opposed, even where the opposed object is harmful and should be opposed. (38/59)

The militant implements history's termination of the object of his devotion by the very measures he deploys in its defence. Aniconism is the last spectacle. (39/59)

It is ever the eternal of the benighted militant that he should be the first of his faith community to discover the death of the worshipped object.  (40/59)

Where it is secretly suspected that the sacred object has lost its potency, and no longer reciprocates the true believer's devotion, he compensates for his loss with renewed demonstrations of fidelity. (41/59)

Even where God had really died, the believer did not fall away, nor did he change his allegiance. (42/59)

The loss of the holy object from a community radically degrades its cultural wealth. (43/59)

The community responds to the loss of its riches in meaning by passing into a reactionary phase of fundamentalised orthodoxy - where it subjectively valorises its own objective impoverishment. (44/59)

The believer does not expect to receive the craved-for response to his cry, but it only provokes him to cry more loudly. (45/59)

Nowhere is God less present than in the spaces enclosed by orthodox religious communities. Religion is the expulsion of God from society. (46/59)

Militancy is the grieving for a life that is to be lived as if the indifference of creation were taken as an affirmation of the measures taken. (47/59)

The tragedy of the militant, the reason he is to be pitied, is found both in his compulsion to present his deviations as consistency, and in the unsuspected consistency of his deviations. (48/59)

The violent assertions which characterise consciousness 'in extremis', mark the end and not the beginning of a historical event. (49/59)

The militant is impelled to defend that which is already lost from the world. His presence indicates its loss. (50/59)

In cultures where rebellion against the authority of the father is structurally inhibited, and where violent patriarchal repression of boys is inseparable from pedagogy, young men have no option but to exceed the elders in orthodoxy. (51/59)

In cultures where surplus-repressive values are reproduced institutionally (resulting in conservative, puritan, orthodox social formations), 'freedom' is located by the young in a domain where, by means of their strategic super-implementation of the law, they are released from the  constraints of ordinary religious observance. (52/59)

The young militants enforce the Word by transgressing against others. The rule of the abstract becomes a thing worthy of reverence because the presence of others has been profaned. (53/59)

Where the religious elders cannot be contradicted, the militancy of the young is expressed by a 'joining in with' the authority of the father. And yet, the young fathers, as they extend the domain of the law, are also permitted, by force of circumstance, to release libidinal forces in the service of conquering new territory - hence the radical excesses associated with repressive desublimation. (54/59)

Communism is incompatible with the freedoms realised by radical identity formations such as religion - communism increases rather than decreases the proportion of social constraints within relations so as to inhibit the potential for abandonment to religious excess. Thus, communism immunises itself against the satanic allure of religion. (55/59)

But that is not the end of it, communism is not merely, or at all, atheist or 'secular' - the social content of religion still surpasses that of technocratic ideologies, it still has more to teach humans about their wretchedness. (56/59)

The project of establishing the human community is not simply a 'rupture' or separation from what has gone before. It also supposes the reabsorption of the entire history of the human species as belonging to itself, including the accumulated wealths of religious identity, but in non-repressive form - thus, the infamous doubled movement of suppression and realisation. (57/59)

By and large, communism is a mode of knowing that follows the via negativa. Communists discover the content of their project by actively severing themselves from the categories of leftism - what leftism is, communism is not. (58/59)

By act of secession, communists find their sympathies are not expressed in the reactive categories of 'anti-racism' or 'anti-imperialism' but are directed towards those individuals across the world who evade participating in the repressive desublimations of islamism, and are instead quietly involved in the life-project of becoming ex-muslims. (59/59)

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